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Works by
Paul Freeman
(Photographer, Writer)

info at paulfreeman dot com.au
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Profile created December 9, 2009
  • Ian Roberts: Finding Out (1998)
    With the odds stacked against him making a career out of football, and despite an injury-hampered rise in first-grade rugby league, Ian Roberts was widely acclaimed as the best front-rower in the late eighties. There was acrimony and even bomb threats when he left his humble working-class South Sydney surrounds to play with the "silvertail" club Manly in 1989, a move that made him league's highest-paid player ever at the time. Three years later he was broke and broken. By 1995, having once again overcome insurmountable odds, and amidst further controversy, he signed with Rupert Murdoch's Super League, while seeing out his commitment to the ARL flagship club Manly. That year he was almost crippled with a knee injury, but played through to the grand final. At the same time he became arguably the world's first high-profile sportsman to voluntarily confirm his much-rumored homosexuality, subjecting himself once again to the litany of abuse that has seemed to follow his every move. This time, however, there was the acclaim and certainty that he had done great good and that right was on his side. And with that knowledge and the support of scores of admirers and mentors came the peace and happiness that had eluded Ian for so long. This is his story, told in his own words, but also told by his friends, family and team-mates, the story of an ordinary man with an extraordinary talent and the courage to live his life the way he wants to.

Bondi Series
  1. Bondi Classic (2004)
    Bondi Classic is an exciting and sensual eulogy, a tribute through photography to the Australian heroic ideal.

    This thought-provoking collection of photographic portraits comprises a vast and varied array of some of Australia's top actors, models, sports stars and Olympians, (including a champion Ironman, Princess Diana's personal trainer, a Mister Australia body building champion, actors from international theatre and film, television soap stars, top players in the Australian Rugby League football code, an Olympic boxer, diver and wrestler, and an Australian Man Of The Year!)

    Located within the ancient and moody coastal topography of Sydney, resplendent in its’ own drama, and liberally utilizing religious and classic art references, Bondi Classic takes us on an epic of unabashed male physicality. Maintaining a reverential distance from its’ subjects, the work revels in the paradoxes of masculinity; the subjects are strong yet sensual, courageous while provocative, violent whilst divinely innocent.

    Bondi Classic is over 300 photographs on 204 pages of art stock paper, hard bound (250x340x25mm).

  2. Bondi Urban (2005)
    A more literal interpretation of the Australian male than Bondi Classic, the collection Bondi Urban seeks to capture something of that spirit of freedom.  Despite its’ edgy and gritty sensuality and a more contemporary look to the models, the way they are directed and captured, the trademark use of lighting to elevate simple compositions into captivating works of art, and the extensive use of gorgeous subdued colour, often infuses the work with the painterly romanticism we got to know in Bondi Classic. The result is another wonderful series of shared intimate moments of male beauty and sensuality.

    Bondi Urban is over 300 photographs on 224 quality, large format art pages, hard-bound.  (250x340x25mm)

  3. Bondi Work (2006)
    Bondi Work, the third book of the series, focuses on the Australian male in the blue collar work environment.

    In exquisitely lit raw and dirty factory environments, with moody natural light often filtered through dust-laden industrial windows Freeman takes us on a gorgeously colourful photo journey that assumes that almost religious and painterly quality which so often infuses his work. This time the factory is his cathedral and the reverence is for the working man depicted therein. There is no altar or high mass garments but here the simple attire and classical poise and agonized and brutal elegance of the everyday working man is what is being raised on high as holy by way of Freeman’s sensitive eulogy through his photo artistry.

    Once again apparent is the photographer’s remarkable relationship with his models, and that mutual artist/subject trust within the shoot environment, crucial to Freeman’s ability to captivate us with shared intimate moments of men who would not usually be found in front of a camera.

    Bondi Work is more than 300 photographs on 216 quality hard-bound art stock pages. (250x340x20mm)

  4. Bondi Road (2007)
    Bondi Road is the final book in Paul Freeman’s Bondi series.

    With its gritty contemporary urban edge and extraordinary models and set in a gritty ocean-side world inhabited by water loving itinerants and bohemian transients, this collection is another look at male sensuality and physicality, again emphasizing Freeman's reverence for, and revelry in the paradoxes of masculinity; toughness and sensuality, courage and sensitivity, provocation and innocence.

    It is an exquisite collection of shared intimate moments of diverse male beauty.

    Bondi Road is more than 300 photographic works on 200 quality hard-bound art pages, (250x340x25mm).

Outback Series
  1. Outback (2008)
    This first part of a new series by Paul Freeman is set far away from Bondi’s shores under a mighty Australian sky on a vast property filled with drovers, farm-hands shearers and cowboys, working and at play.

    This extraordinary body of work, set in a variously tough and gorgeously colored landscape, often evokes Australia’s pioneering past with sepia toning, ageing of images and a carefully controlled color palette of muted burnt yellows and reds reminiscent both of nineteenth century Australian impressionism and of early hand-painted photos. The collection has a ‘boys own adventure’ feel which those annual compendiums of ripping yarns might have had in the 1920’s and ‘30s. The qualities displayed by the men on these pages were as current a hundred years ago as they are now. Even the more obviously contemporary images are nostalgic, shot as they are in and around weathered timber farm buildings and parched fields littered with rusted old vehicles. Everything is worn but staunch and durable complimenting and contrasting the wonderfully varied and astounding array of manhood portrayed.

  2. Outback Currawong Creek (July 2009)
    If you are looking for a collection of stunningly beautiful photographs of men that move you and take you on a story-telling journey , and not just a bunch of pics of ‘hot’ guys in samey poses, what better way to celebrate photographer Paul Freeman’s self- publishing business turning five, than with a sixth book of his work - Outback Currawong Creek.

    With 240 art photographs of male nudes and portraits on 200 luxuriously large format art stock pages, this beautifully bound and dust-jacketed book continues Freeman’s photographic story of hardworking and intimate male camaraderie in the Australian rural heartland.

    Another reward for the loyal fan base he has built around the world, while competing to present his distinctive gorgeous and artistic brand of portraiture against the conglomerates and giants of publishing.

    For those who thought Freeman’s popular Bondi series would be a hard act to follow, with its focus on fabulous Sydney men in a stunning coastal cultural context. Last year Outback carried and captured our imaginations during a rollicking pictorial ‘boys own’ adventure in the parched farming landscape of Australia.

    Critics were personally affected and moved by his art. “It’s brilliant! I’m quite moved by the images” said Andrew Creagh, editor of DNA Magazine “I was born in the wheat belt of Western Australia so a lot of those shearing sheds and shearers huts are familiar to me; the red dust, the sheep dog, the old utes. … The shoots are really well integrated– some very clever and some hot guys. But mostly, it’s so evocative. It’s great work!..[Paul’s] taken it to another level and I don’t think anyone’s done anything like it!” For Alasdair Forster, curator of the world-renowned Australian Centre for Photography, “The images in the ‘Outback’ series reveal [Paul’s] understanding that the erotic lives within the individual not the stereotype; that strength lies in embracing one’s vulnerability as much as exercising one’s power; and that the child abides within the man. Playful, candid and sexy, these men epitomise a spirit of outback Australia that fuses larrikin fantasy with moments of introspection that create a subtle counterpoint with the rugged beauty of the land.”

    Scenes of mates cavorting naked in outback creeks lends a ‘Bear Pond’ flavour to an Outback Currawong Creek filled with drovers, farm-hands and cowboys, working and at play, a wonderful array of uniquely beautiful men in a breathtakingly beautiful country, transformed again by Freeman into a timeless romantic world of photographic art.

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